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Walgreens to pay San Francisco $230 million to settle opioid lawsuit

San Francisco has a reached an virtually $230 million settlement with Walgreens over the corporate’s position within the opioid epidemic, which has plagued town and ravaged communities throughout the USA. At a information convention Wednesday, San Francisco Metropolis Lawyer David Chiu stated it was the most important award to a neighborhood jurisdiction in opposition to an opioid defendant within the nation; $200 million of the fund will go towards native efforts to alleviate the opioid disaster.

The settlement follows an August ruling by U.S. District Decide Charles R. Breyer, which stated that Walgreens may very well be held answerable for “considerably contributing” to the opioid disaster, which constituted a “public nuisance.” For 15 years, by failing to carry out due diligence and filling illegitimate prescriptions of doubtless addictive opioid medication, Walgreens “made the opioid epidemic in San Francisco worse than it in any other case would have been,” Breyer wrote, calling the impact “devastating.”

“Cities like San Francisco have shouldered a lot of the burden of the opioid epidemic,” Chiu stated in a press release Wednesday. “This historic settlement ensures Walgreens is held accountable for the disaster they fueled and our metropolis receives applicable assets to fight the opioid disaster and convey aid to our communities.”

Walgreens didn’t reply to a request for remark late Wednesday, however it stated in a press release to Reuters that the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing and that it “disputes legal responsibility.”

At peak of disaster, Walgreens dealt with almost 1 in 5 of essentially the most addictive opioids

The settlement is the most recent motion in a spate of lawsuits across the nation which have sought accountability throughout the availability chain — from drug producers to pharmacies — for corporations’ position in a prescription-opioid disaster that has led to lots of of 1000’s of deaths throughout the USA, based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. On the peak of the opioid disaster, Walgreens dealt with almost one-fifth of oxycodone and hydrocodone drugs shipped to U.S. pharmacies, The Washington Put up reported.

CVS and Walgreens, two of the most important retail pharmacies within the nation, agreed to pay $10 billion to settle a multistate lawsuit in November, whereas Walmart agreed to pay $3.1 billion in an identical settlement. Final yr, the Sackler household, who owned Purdue Pharma, as soon as the most important opioid producer in the USA, agreed to pay $6 billion to resolve lawsuits.

Opioid victims confront Purdue Pharma’s Sackler household: ‘It’s going to by no means finish for me’

In response to the Metropolis Lawyer’s Workplace, San Francisco noticed a 478 % enhance in opioid-related overdose deaths between 2015 and 2020. At considered one of San Francisco’s largest hospitals, roughly 25 % of visits are opioid-related, the workplace stated.

In October, town estimated it might price $8.1 million over 15 years to treatment its opioid disaster, based on courtroom paperwork.

Wednesday’s settlement comes from a case filed in 2018, by which San Francisco alleged that opioid producers, distributors and dispensers fueled a “widespread surge of opioid-related dependancy and overdose” within the metropolis. By the top of 2022, all however Walgreens had settled. Chiu famous on the information convention that the litigation has resulted in additional than $350 million in settlements.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed praised Chiu and his group in a press release on Wednesday.

“Whereas we’re grateful for the funding secured on this lawsuit,” she stated, “it received’t change the 1000’s of lives misplaced to the opioid epidemic that’s enjoying out throughout our nation.”

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